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Home / News / ESB profits after tax rise over 30% to €868m for 2023

ESB profits after tax rise over 30% to €868m for 2023

ESB has reported profits after tax of €868m for 2023, up over 30% on the previous year.

Announcing its bumper results, the state-owned electricity supplier, which is the parent company of Electric Ireland, said it is “very mindful” that higher energy prices continue to pose challenges for their customers.

While the volatility in the global energy markets eased last year and wholesale prices dropped, ESB said prices were still “unpredictable” and “significantly higher” than the levels seen before the crisis.

Its generation and supply businesses are required to operate separately – so increased profits from its generation division cannot be used to subsidise its Electric Ireland business.

Across all divisions, ESB recorded an operating profit before interest and tax of over €1.1 billion, up over €274m on 2022.

“The growth in group profits reflects increased earnings from regulated networks businesses and a growing contribution from our business activities in Great Britain which now account for 23% of group profits,” ESB said.

Capital expenditure reached a record high at over €1.7 billion, up 24% on 2022.

It said this brings total capital investment in the past five years to €6.7 billion.

“ESB has reported a strong financial performance for the group in 2023,” said Paul Stapleton, ESB’s Chief Financial Officer.

“This underpins a second consecutive year of record levels of capital investment by ESB in energy infrastructure,” he stated.

Mr Stapleton said this investment is “critical” for the economy and for Ireland’s transition to a net zero energy system.

“The funding of our capital expenditure programme – forecasted at over €11 billion over the next five years – will require continued strong financial performance and further profit growth,” he added.

ESB is recommending a dividend of €220m, bringing dividends to over €1.4 billion over the last ten years.

It said this is consistent with its policy of paying dividends equivalent to 40% of profits over time.

ESB also paid €76m to the State under the Government’s scheme to cap the market revenues of certain electricity generators from December 2022 to June 2023.

The group said it contributed over €2.7bn to the Irish economy during the year in the form of payroll, taxes, dividends and purchases from domestic suppliers.

ESB Group is organised into a number of reportable divisions which are managed separately – ESB Networks, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, its Generation and Trading division and its Customer Solutions division, which includes Electric Ireland.

ESB Networks’ division recorded an operating profit of €359m, up €152m on 2022.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks’ (NIE Networks) recorded an operating profit of €78m, €14m higher than the previous year.

The Generation and Trading division made an operating profit of €730m, with almost 40% coming from Great Britain operations. This is down €44m on 2022.

ESB said this is mainly due to the Irish Government’s scheme to cap market revenues, increased headcount and increased business development costs – including in relation to hydrogen and renewables.

Finally, the Customer Solutions’ division, which includes Electric Ireland, reported an operating loss of €12m compared to a loss of €109m in 2022.

After price reductions during the year, ESB said Electric Ireland’s profitability was lower than 2022.

“Since winter 2020, Electric Ireland has committed over €60m to support customers and the company pledges never to disconnect an engaging customer,” ESB said.

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